I meet Nancy at her restaurant. Over pastries and coffee, we speak more
about quilts than food as I show her some of my previous work. We discuss
how were not sure what collaboration means in this case
once I start working, will I be able to take advice or input? My thought
all along was to use some of Nancys kitchen textiles, maybe old
dish towels, and paint them.
So there we are, talking,
and Nancy says (this is the part where I start to think Im in
some totally awesome dream), Theres a fabric store across
the street want to go? Can you imagine? Of all the quilter-chef
scenarios, this has to be the best. Off we go to Diamond Foam and Fabric,
not your typical chain store, two buildings more like warehouses, and
almost all the fabric is on wholesale-type tubes. My idea of the collaboration
now is to have Nancy pick out several fabrics she likes, and Ill
buy small pieces and use them in the quilt. I see that much of this
stuff is imported and in the thirty-to-forty-dollars-per-yard range.
Hmmm. Well, I figure if Nancy picks out three or four fabrics, I can
spend that much.
We walk around, checking
this beautiful stuff out, and here comes Jason, the owner. Nancy knows
him well it turns out they swap couche (cloth for proofing bread)
for food. Jason says, Ill take the scissors and cut for
you. Were off. You like this fabric? whack whack
whack, a half a yard. This is great except the pieces are piling up
and I seem to lack the control to say, This is enough. Im
getting a little worried here, so I pull Nancy aside and express concern
about the cost. Dont worry, she says. Hell
give us a good discount. We end up with nine or ten pieces, maybe
three or four yards worth. We approach the register, and I await
the damages. Its yours, says Jason. No charge.
Dont worry about it. Wow. This sure is an amazing fabric
store.Its getting close to noon, and back across the street customers
will start arriving soon, so its time to end our meeting. I mention
that I want to buy a loaf of bread for the friends Im staying
with, so we go into the bakery, and Nancy starts filling a big shopping
bag with different breads (Veggie sandwiches? Here, use this)
and pastries. Once again, its all free! Wow. I pack up all the
prizes and say goodbye.
This work was for an invitational show that paired up female fabric
artists with female chefs. In Anns case, she was paired up with
Nancy Silverton, pastry chef, baker and co-owner of Campanile (a restaurant)
and La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles.